For three days the periphery becomes the center during the 2014 Art + Environment Conference at the Nevada Museum of Art. Since 2008, the Conference has gathered together the premiere makers of “art that walks in the world.” We reverse the field as beauty becomes risk, the contemporary becomes conservative, and memories tell the future. In October 2014 help us shape a dialogue that creates new knowledge on a global scale.
Three subject threads will inform the presentations and thematic exhibitions of this year’s Conference. Animals will define humans in the groundbreaking Late Harvest exhibition, raising questions about posthumanism. The Earth’s systems and human relationships to them are made visible in presentations related to geoaesthetics. Multidisciplinary, interventionist, and social practice are terms artists use to describe how they create Fieldwork projects that often encompass Posthumanism and Geoaesthetics themes, but also incorporate ideas about social justice and sustainability.
The Nevada Museum of Art is a Museum of ideas. From October 9-11, 2014 at the Art + Environment Conference audience-participants will join presenters in an unfolding conversation that is unlike any other.
Join in the Conversation
Conference guests are invited to join the Nevada Museum of Art for the Member’s Premiere of the exhibitions for the Art + Environment season. Curators and artists are available for informal conversation in the galleries.
Two worlds collide in Late Harvest, an exhibition in which contemporary artists working with animals and taxidermy are juxtaposed with historical wildlife paintings. JoAnne Northrup, Director of Contemporary Art Initiatives at the Nevada Museum of Art, discusses the genesis of the exhibition, and artists’ deep consideration of the animal within the broader spectrum of species.
The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, houses one of the most impressive collections of canonical wildlife painting in the world. Adam Duncan Harris discusses how Charles Darwin’s work effected shifts in visual representations of animals in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.
Animal mounts, firearms, and wildlife paintings take center stage at le Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris. Once a traditional private hunting club--now led by Claude d’Anthenaise--the recent re-installation of the Musée’s permanent collection interrogates modes of natural and cultural history displays and the very nature of a museum.
Petah Coyne’s richly-surfaced sculptures explore the darkness and beauty of human difficulties and triumphs. Her lecture will lead the viewer through thirty years of work. While her career and her imagery have remained tied to literature, film, and travel, her work has embraced an ever-wider range of innovative and disparate materials.
Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson present their project Nanoq—a research-driven practice exploring the provenance of taxidermied polar bears in the United Kingdom. The project challenged ideas about wild and domesticated nature, creating an exhibition about agency and extinction that moved audiences internationally.
Synthesizing ideas about art and animals raised in the morning’s sessions, futurist and science fiction writer Bruce Sterling speculates about the nature of the human-animal interface in the 21st century and beyond.
Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley present VENUE, a creative and artistic riff on the government-sponsored survey expeditions of the nineteenth century. Their 16 month expedition--describing sites and happenings as wide-ranging as New Mexico’s Very Large Array and New York’s Manhattanhenge—resulted in a media-rich archive, akin to a “core sample” of the greater North American landscape. Bring your lunch. Space is limited and seating is available on a first-come, first served basis. Presented by Western States Arts Federation (Westaf).
Scandinavian artists Elmgreen & Dragset mine the relationship between art, architecture, and design. They work in interior and exterior settings, ranging from institutions to public spaces, sometimes with a twist, such as “Prada Marfa”—a Prada boutique replica in the Texan desert—or staged domestic interiors with open-ended narratives.
In his work artist David Brooks questions how humans use, consume, and perceive the natural world. Deeply influenced by the discourse and practices engaged with environmental issues, Brooks challenges scientific, philosophical, and consumerist dualities that traditionally separate humans and nonhumans.
Author of an influential book about Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field, longtime San Francisco Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker introduces contemporary artist Ugo Rondinone. Baker leads a conversation with Rondinone about his Seven Magic Mountains project outside Las Vegas within the context of contemporary site-specific art practice.
Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone discusses his proposed large scale installation located outside of Las Vegas. The work challenges viewers to consider new ideas about contemporary art, artifice and authenticity, and the phenomenology of experience in the desert environment.
Join fellow attendees, artists, and presenters on the rooftop for cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Hosted by the Board of Trustees of the Nevada Museum of Art.
Convening the second day of the Art + Environment Conference, the morning begins with a benediction and poetry reading by legendary New York poet and artist John Giorno.
No longer simply observers and documenters of the natural world, new groups of contemporary artists and interdisciplinary practitioners now engage critically with environmental and social issues in the field. These projects effect change through activist practice, and can be defined as Fieldworks.
Australian painter Mandy Martin’s ongoing art and social practice in Paruku—an Indigenous Protected Area in Western Australia—brings awareness to challenges facing Aboriginal peoples, and also informs positive environmental and cultural change in the area surrounding Lake Gregory. This terminal desert lake has been a source of food and site of Aboriginal cultural production for 50,000 years.
Collectors Debra and Dennis Scholl have acquired hundreds of works in recent years centering on the place-based cosmologies of Aboriginal Australians. Dennis Scholl discusses the scope and criteria shaping this important collection.
Solastalgia, a word describing a sense of powerlessness in the face of environmental change coined by Glenn Albrecht, informs the dialogue of this session. Anthropologist and curator John Carty joined by conservationist and agriculturalist Guy Fitzhardinge and Jamie Brown, all of Australia, join Martin Skerritt and Scholl to discuss how art responds to and mitigates solastalgia.
Since 2006, The Canary Project has brought together the work of more than one hundred artists, activists, scientists, and thinkers who—like twenty-first century sentinels—have worked to raise awareness about ecological threats facing the global community’s future.
Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison of the Center for the Study of the Force Majeure and Lauren Bon of The Metabolic Studio are beginning a collaboration that will deploy paleo-geographic, contemporary and prophetic mapping of the Intermountain West to research what might be the best outcomes for region in light of global warming and resource extraction. Their collective question for this “work at scale” is how to intervene to meet survival needs of the Intermountain West during rapid catabolic descent.
In their work, Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison propose a series of long-term ecological responses to mitigate the effects of global climate change. In 2012 they founded the Center for Force Majeure Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They will discuss their project Sierra Nevada: An Adaptation, an ongoing project commissioned by the Center for Art + Environment and the proposed Intermountain West work. Bring your lunch. Space is limited and seating is available on a first-come, first served basis.
Artist and U.C. Berkeley Professor of Engineering Ken Goldberg, working with collaborators Sanjay Krishnan, Fernanda Viégas, and Martin Wattenberg, created what has been called the first internet-based Earthwork. Goldberg discusses the geoaesthetics of information design and seismic data.
Artists and technologists Viégas and Wattenberg invent new ways for people to look at and talk about data. Their 2012 Wind Map uses national weather data to reveal the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the United States, visualizing the power of an invisible source of renewable energy.
In their project, photographer Terry Evans and journalist Elizabeth Farnsworth assemble a portrait of environmental change wrought by North Dakota’s oil and gas extraction. Through interviews and photographs, the pair reveals the complicated story of an industry that is reordering one of America’s most subtle and storied landscapes at a staggering pace. Evans and Farnsworth are Research Fellows with the Center for Art + Environment.
Maya Lin invites our engagement with urgent environmental issues through her memorial project What Is Missing? An elegiac commemoration of habitat loss and ecological collapse, her digital artwork harnesses the power of the internet to spread awareness of imminent threats to global biodiversity.
The Conference closes with a cocktail celebration. The party is open to all speakers, sponsors, and attendees.
Kenneth Baker has been art critic for the San Francisco Chronicle since 1985 and has contributed to publications including Artforum, Art in America, Connoisseur and the Smithsonian Magazine. He is the author of Minimalism: Art of Circumstance and The Lightning Field, the only substantial study of Walter De Maria’s land art masterpiece. His writing has also appeared in Modern Painters, The Art Newspaper, ArtNews and Parkett. Baker has taught art history and criticism at colleges on both coasts, including Brown and Stanford Universities, the Rhode Island School of Design and California College of the Arts.
Lauren Bon is a graduate of Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, holding degrees in architecture and the history and theory of art. Her solo exhibitions include Bees and Meat, ACE Gallery; Not a Cornfield, a 32-acre living sculpture on a plot of land between Chinatown and Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles; and Project Room: Hand Held Objects, Santa Monica Museum of Art. Bon has also produced large scale urban and public works in cities including Los Angeles, Belfast, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, and Belgrade. Bon’s studio, The Metabolic Studio, has been involved in water issues in Los Angeles and the Owens Valley since 2010.
David Brooks is a New York based artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally at the Miami Art Museum; Dallas Contemporary; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco; Sculpture Center, NYC; Changwon Sculpture Biennale, South Korea; Galerie für Landschaftskunst, Hamburg; James Cohan, Shanghai and MoMA/PS1. In 2011, Brooks opened Desert Rooftops in Times Square, a 5,000 square foot earthwork commissioned by Art Production Fund. Other major commissions include the Cass Sculpture Foundation, UK and Storm King, NY.
Jamie Brown is Head Ranger for the Paruku Indigenous Protected Area. He has been the community chairperson and lived in Mulan for many years, and is the grandson of Walmajarri elder Bessie Doonday and son of Traditional Owner Shirley Brown.
Edward Morris and Susannah Sayler founded The Canary Project in 2006. Through this collaboration, they have supported many projects including Green Patriot Posters and Eve Mosher’s High Water Line. Sayler earned her Master’s in photography from New York’s School of Visual Arts and has worked globally as a commercial photographer. Morris is a writer and scholar with degrees from Wesleyan and Harvard Universities, and a translator of Asian poetry. Together they have been visiting artists at numerous universities and currently teach at the Syracuse University’s Department of Transmedia, where Sayler is an assistant professor.
Dr. John Carty is an inaugural research fellow at the Center for Art + Environment. His core research interest is Australia’s Western Desert acrylic art and most of his projects have addressed the anthropology, art history, and/or economics of this contemporary mode of cultural production. He was a co-curator of the Canning Stock Route exhibition Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route at the National Museum of Australia and is now working with the British Museum's collections of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander material culture.
Petah Coyne is a contemporary sculptor and photographer based in New York and her work can be found in numerous permanent museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Finland. The Nevada Museum of Art recently acquired Untitled #1205 (Virgil), from her series of sculptures made in response to Dante’s Inferno
Claude d’Anthenaise has been leading the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature since 1998, where he fully renovated its setting and orientation, making it a compelling place for cultural life and contemporary art in Paris. Previously, d’Anthenaise served as a Conservateur du Patrimoine, working for preservation and restoration of historic buildings and the Cultural Service of French Foreign Affairs, where he directed the Alliance Française in Singapore. d’Anthenaise has curated various exhibitions of contemporary art that feature relationships between humans and animals.
Based in Berlin and London, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset have worked together as an artist duo since 1995. They have held numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and ZKM Museum of Modern Art, Karlsruhe. Their work has been included in the Liverpool, Singapore, Moscow, Gwangju, São Paulo, Istanbul, and Berlin biennials, and in 2009 they received a special mention for their exhibition The Collectors in the Nordic and Danish Pavilions at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Terry Evans has photographed the prairies and plains of North America extensively and has worked on a variety of locations from the skies of Chicago to the melting ice sheets of Greenland. Her work is noted for revealing deep connections among people and places through a refined sense of pattern in the landscape discovered by juxtaposing aerial with ground-based photography. Evans has had one-person shows at the Chicago Art Institute, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and The Field Museum of Natural History. Fractured: North Dakota’s Oil Boom, a collaborative exhibition with writer Elizabeth Farnsworth, debuted at The Field Museum of Natural History on June 7, 2013.
Former senior correspondent with the PBS NewsHour, Elizabeth Farnsworth is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose 2008 feature-length documentary The Judge and the General, made with co-producer/director Patricio Lanfranco, was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement award and earned a 2009 Emmy award nomination for Best Historical Documentary. She joined the PBS nightly news program The MacNeil Lehrer News Hour in 1984 as a contributing correspondent and was named chief correspondent and principal substitute anchor in 1995. In 1999, she became senior correspondent for what is now known as the PBS NewsHour, concentrating on foreign affairs and the arts.
Australian pastoralist Guy Fitzhardinge holds a Ph.D in environmental history from the Australia National University and is a Governor of the World Wildlife Fund, serving as a member of its Scientific Assessment Committee, Threatened Species Community Program for ten years. He has chaired the Karrkand Kandji Trust since 2010, and from 2002-2010, served as a director of Australian Bush Heritage. He and his wife, artist Mandy Martin, run a herd of high-quality, sustainable Angus cattle in central New South Wales on a nature reserve that has hosted innumerable artists and writers from around the world.
William L. Fox, director of the Center for Art + Environment, has been called an art critic, science writer, and cultural geographer. He has published fifteen books on cognition and landscape, numerous essays in art monographs, magazines and journals, and fifteen collections of poetry. He is a fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Club, and recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Science Foundation. He has been a visiting scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Clark Art Institute, and the Australian National University, and is currently a guest researcher at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
John Giorno is an American poet and performance artist who began experimenting with sound pieces in 1965, inspired by collaborators William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. He is the founder of the not-for-profit production company Giorno Poetry Systems that organized a number of early multimedia poetry experiments and was the subject of Andy Warhol's film Sleep (1963). He started the Dial-A-Poem project in 1968, which appeared at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970, and has released more than fifty albums of poetry and music with collaborators including Laurie Anderson, Gregory Corso, Patti Smith, and Karen Finley. He had his first solo painting show in New York in 2010.
Ken Goldberg is an artist and professor in the College of Engineering and School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. Goldberg’s installations have been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial, the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Buenos Aires Biennial, and the ICC in Tokyo. Goldberg is craigslist Distinguished Professor of New Media, IEEE Fellow, co-Founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media, and Founding Director of UC Berkeley’s Art, Technology, and Culture Lecture Series.
Adam Duncan Harris has been the Peterson Curator of Art and Research at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming since 2000. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming, and a Ph.D. in Art History from University of Minnesota. Harris is the author of Wildlife in American Art: Masterworks from the National Museum of Wildlife Art and editor of the award-winning Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct. He recently curated a touring exhibit in conjunction with the Smithsonian American Art Museum titled George Catlin’s American Buffalo.
Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison were pioneers of the eco-art movement starting in the early 1970s. Working with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists, the Harrisons initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development. They have had numerous international solo exhibitions and their work is in the collections of many public institutions, including the Pompidou Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2013, the Harrisons became the first recipients of the Corlis Benefideo Award for Imaginative Cartography and are professors emeriti at the University of California Santa Cruz.
A recipient of the Presidential Design Award, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and the William A. Bernoudy Resident in Architecture fellowship from the American Academy in Rome, Maya Lin has long balanced art and architecture with social and environmental concerns. Using landscape as her context, Lin constructs views of the earth from numerous technological sources, including sonar resonance scans and aerial and satellite mapping devices, then translates that information into sculptures, drawings and both interior and environmental installations. Lin received her Master of Architecture from Yale University and maintains a studio in New York City. She is an honorary board member of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Geoff Manaugh is the author of one of the web’s most visited cultural sites, BLDGBLOG, as well as The BLDGBLOG Book. He is former senior editor of Dwell magazine, a contributing editor at Wired UK, and Editor in Chief of Gizmodo. Along with Nicola Twilley, he organized and co-curated Landscapes of Quarantine, a design studio and exhibition at New York's Storefront for Art and Architecture in 2010, and in 2011 an exhibition for the Nevada Museum of Art titled Landscape Futures. Manaugh has taught at design studios at Columbia University, the Pratt Institute, the University of Technology, Sydney, and University of Southern California.
One of Australia’s most prominent painters, Mandy Martin completed a Diploma of Fine Art at the South Australian School of Art in 1975 and currently serves as adjunct professor in the Art & Ecology program at the Canberra School of Art at the Australian National University. Her work is held by every major public and university museum in Australia and internationally by the Guggenheim Museum, New York. Along with her husband Guy Fitzhardinge, she has run several art-and-science projects in the field, including works at the Cadia Gold Mine in New South Wales, in the Desert Channel country of Queensland, and with the Paruku Project in Western Australia.
JoAnne Northrup is dedicated to bringing artists who use pioneering techniques and inventive materials into the mainstream conversation about contemporary art. In her current position at the Nevada Museum of Art, she curated the Late Harvest exhibition, which forms the centerpiece of the 2014 Art + Environment season. In 2011, Northrup was named a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar and as Chief Curator at the San Jose Museum of Art, she curated and authored the first nationally touring survey exhibitions and monographs on contemporary media artists Jennifer Steinkamp and Leo Villareal. Northrup earned her Master's Degree in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Southern California.
Born in 1963 in Brunnen, Switzerland, New-York based Ugo Rondinone is a mixed-media artist whose works explore themes of fantasy and desire. Rondinone studied at Hochschule für angewandte Kunst, Vienna from 1986-1990 and has had numerous solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle, Vienna; Museo de Art Contemporaneo, Leon, Spain; and Sculpture Center, New York. In 2007, he represented Switzerland in the Venice Biennale. Rondinone’s works are in the collections of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, the de La Cruz Collection, Miami, and many more.
Dennis Scholl is the vice president/arts for the Knight Foundation, where he oversees the foundation's national arts program, including the Knight Arts Challenge and Random Acts of Culture. A collector of contemporary art for three decades, Scholl is the founder of a series of initiatives dedicated to building the contemporary art collections of museums, including the Guggenheim, the Tate Modern and the Perez Art Museum. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and is currently one of the most prominent collectors in the world of Australian Aboriginal art.
Henry Skerritt is an art historian and curator from Perth in Western Australia who has published extensively on Aboriginal art and culture in numerous Australian publications. He is currently undertaking graduate studies in Art History at the University of Pittsburgh.
Icelandic and UK artists Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson describe their collaborative practice, which they have conducted since 2001, as “socially engaged projects that explore contemporary relationships between human and non-human animals in the contexts of history, culture and the environment.” Their installation-based work utilizes objects, text, photography and video. Snæbjörnsdóttir is a professor of fine art at Gothenburg University’s Valand School of Art, and has been working as an artist, lecturer, and researcher since 1995. Mark Wilson holds a Ph.D in Art and teaches contemporary art at the University of Cumbria, United Kingdom.
Science fiction writer Bruce Sterling is a cultural critic and futurist nonpareil who defines truth as a “major consensus narrative.” He has archived dead media sites online, writes the “Beyond the Beyond” blog hosted by Wired, serves as a Professor of Internet Studies and Science Fiction at the European Graduate School, and in 2005 became the Visionary in Residence at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He also founded the Viridian Design Movement, “an environmental aesthetic … of global citizenship, environmental design and techno-progressiveness.” He and his wife split their time living in Croatia and his birthplace of Austin, Texas.
Nicola Twilley is author of the blog Edible Geography, co-founder of the Foodprint Project, and director of Studio-X NYC, part of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. With the Center for Land Use Interpretation, she recently curated an exhibition exploring North America's spaces of artificial refrigeration and is currently writing a book on the same topic. From 2011 to 2013, Twilley was a research fellow at the Center for Art + Environment, partnering with Geoff Manaugh to launch the Venue project. Twilley was recently named as one of the first annual UC Berkeley/11th Hour Foundation Food and Farming Fellows.
Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg explore the visualization of culturally significant data, leading Google’s “Big Picture” Visualization Research Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before joining Google, the two founded the studio Flowing Media, Inc. and in previous work for IBM, they created the ground-breaking public visualization platform Many Eyes. Their work is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. Wattenberg holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and Viégas has a Ph.D. from the Media Lab at MIT.
A block of hotel rooms have been reserved for conference guests at the Eldorado Hotel Casino. Rates vary from $69.99 to $139.99 depending on weekday/weekend bookings and type of room. Stay over rate for Sunday, October 12, 2014 is $49.99. Block room cutoff date is Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
The Eldorado Hotel Casino is located in the heart of downtown Reno, within walking distance to the Museum and just 3 miles west of the Reno Tahoe International Airport, off of the I-80 Sierra Street exit between 4th and Virginia Streets. Shuttle service by request to and from the hotel for airport arrivals and departures via Eldorado guest services.